Picking up from where I left off last week in regards to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Old Testament, here is the next installment of a series that I wrote some time ago focusing on this very theme. A few years ago I did the first three parts, along with the Mary as Ark of the Covenant and the Esheth Yahil (Woman of Valor) from Proverbs 31. I will now conclude this series with additional parts through the upcoming Mondays. This part of the series will have titles instead of “Mary in the Old Testament”, however the corresponding part will be in the title as to unite it to the first installment.
Symbols in the Old Testament that relate to Mary are rich in the mysteries of God. In the Apostolic Constitution, Ineffabilis Deus, Blessed Pius IX, defines the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. He names a discreet number of Marian symbols; many that are expressly rich in regards to Mary’s Immaculate Conception. They are “Ark of Salvation,” “Jacob’s Ladder,” the “Burning Bush of Sinai,” the “Impregnable Tower,” the “Enclosed Garden,” the “City of God,” the Lily Among Thorns,” the “Incorruptible Wood”, and the “Strong Box of Immortality.”
When we contemplate on the biblical Marian symbols, we “possess a consistency of content and a characteristic incisiveness of expression which cannot but enlighten the mind, animate the sentiments and enrich the soul with a more concrete understanding of things in their multiple senses and significance: every symbol in reality is a word pregnant with understanding of and enthusiasm for the real.”
Biblical symbolism in relation to the Blessed Virgin Mary helps us transcend the person and mission she holds in salvation history. It enlightens are hearts and gives us a sense of deep warmth. Over the centuries, Marian biblical symbolism has found its origins in the Early Church Fathers, in Tradition, through the liturgy and in sacred art.
Today, we are going to focus on the Marian Symbol – The “Virgin Earth.”
Next week, we will examine The “Paradise of God” and “Closed Door,” “Gate of God,” “Gate of Heaven”.
The biblical symbol “Virgin Earth” focuses on the virginal womb of Mary, which through the power of the Holy Spirit came forth Jesus Christ, the New Adam. In the teachings of the Early Church Fathers, this term, “Virgin Earth” corresponds to Mary who surpasses the first Eve, essentially because the first Eve came forth from the side of Adam. It is through her Immaculate Conception and that she is “full of grace” (Lk 1:28), where this term of her is fully embraced. Her mission was to conceive in the womb of virginity Jesus Christ, the New Adam, who is the Word of God incarnate.
As the “Virgin Earth”, Mary is united of Christ and with Christ. According to St. Bonaventure, in union with Christ and his Incarnation, the greatest glory of God, she is “the absolute primacy of the New Adam and of the New Eve in relation to our first parents.” Where Adam came forth from the first Earth; now the New Adam came forth from the second Virgin Earth.
O Blessed Mother of God, Virgin Earth…Pray for Us.